It’s a Busy Time in Education Biz

Market Insight
By: 
Charles Sosnik

There are so many great things going on in the Education industry. In fact, it seems there is no such thing as an average week anymore; each one is exciting and bursting at the seams with activity.

Here’s what I mean. Just in the past few days, the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and Palo Alto Networks have launched a brand-new resource library designed to help nurture interest in cyber careers and provide all the information needed for students, career seekers and educators alike to develop a diverse cybersecurity workforce. Meanwhile, Lexia Learning announced that all schools throughout Alabama can now boost literacy instruction via LETRS® (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) professional learning. This professional learning experience provides the knowledge and tools for successfully applying the science of reading in classrooms. The Alabama State Department of Education funding is to support kindergarten through third grade teachers, in addition to Pre-K, administrators, and other support positions that impact K-3 literacy in the state. 

PresenceLearning has made two key additions to their leadership team. The company hired Louisa Balach as President, Therapy Essentials Platform, and has promoted Shanelle Reese to become the company’s first Chief People Officer.

It seems that during the pandemic, many of Chicago’s community college students turned their homes into classrooms. Since in-person communication with professors has been limited, students have lacked access to subject matter experts who can guide them through their coursework. To support these students, our friends at Wyzant have partnered with One Million Degrees to cover the costs of scholars’ tutoring sessions through 2021. Pretty cool.

Foundations in Learning announced it has launched the newest version of its online literacy solution with a new name, WordFlight. The company’s signature product also will include new, key enhancements for the start of the 2021-22 school year, reports its co-founder, Dr. Carolyn Brown.

Aperture Education has released its free 2021 Back-to-School Guide to help teachers and administrators support students and families as schools resume. The Guide is packed with SEL information, resources, lessons, and activities that can be used to help teachers and students manage stress, strengthen SEL skills, support student engagement, and more. To download the 2021 Back-to-School Guide, go to https://apertureed.com/2021-back-to-school-guide/.

And more help in the SEL arena, EmpowerU’s expanded evidence-based social-emotional learning (SEL) services to schools is now available nationwide. The Tier 1 (universal) elementary and middle school curriculum is designed to teach student resilience and confidence in kindergarten through eighth grade. EmpowerU’s Tier 1 program is the result of 16 months of development and testing.

From emotional intelligence to robotics, starting August 1, CoderZ will once again bring a real-world industry perspective to computer science classrooms through the Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge. In this free, three-hour virtual learning experience, students develop basic computer science skills while discovering the ways that swag is delivered at Amazon. This year’s #StepintoSTEM challenge provides teachers access to resources that make instruction simple for them, regardless of their computer science background.

Need some new kicks? Los Angeles-based shoemaker Tieks, announced a special offer—Tieks for Teachers— as a way to thank those who serve our nation's education system. As schools prepare for back-to-school season, accredited educators and select staff members are eligible for a $75 gift card for use on Tieks' popular line of ballet flats as a way to honor them for the critical work they do while navigating unprecedented challenges.

Slooh, is launching The Slooh Space Exploration Grant for the 2021-2022 school year. The grant is being provided with the goal of helping one million students nationwide experience the wonder of space from their classroom and home computers.

As cyberattacks continue to strike globally, millions of people are recognizing the importance of strong cybersecurity education programs and cybersecurity fluency. In response to these needs, Novus Consulting Group (NCG), an organization dedicated to young people globally, is launching its Cyber Citizenship Course this summer, helping to keep us (and our data) safe.

And speaking of safety, Flinn Scientific has launched the New Teacher Academy specifically for science teachers who have been teaching for three years or less. As part of the free academy, teachers can participate in safety webinars and receive a hands-on kit with safety-related materials all while getting their questions answered by Flinn’s team of experts. What a deal!

 And right back to SEL - Edsby introduced a new system enabling teachers to understand their students’ emotional states in and out of the classroom by giving students a systematic way to share how they’re feeling. The new feature augments a series of capabilities in Edsby focused on student well-being. Edsby joins the Australian company Skodel in offering students the opportunity to check in and let us know how they are doing. This type of self-reporting is working wonders.

Swing Education launched its annual Bonus Plan for the 2021-2022 school year. The company, which offers an app connecting schools to substitute teachers, will give substitute teachers in its network an annual bonus of up to $1,000 based on the number of days they work this coming year.

Eduscape is expanding its partnership with Photon to bring Photon Teaching Kits to educators throughout North America. These kits are little self-contained cases chock full of lesson plans and more. Who says learning can’t be fun?

At the same time, Blackbird announced updates and improvements inspired by student and teacher feedback to their code education app and platform. Improvements include a modern site-wide redesign, a dedicated page for Guided Projects, a Code Workshop that better eases students into using professional IDEs, and refined teacher tools used to manage classes, review code, view progress reports, and more.

Here at the Learning Counsel, we are amazed at the way our new EduJedi events are shaping up as top educators from across the country are participating in droves. It is definitely not your usual professional development. This year’s EduJedi events are designed to open the minds of education and teacher leaders to the real changes needed in American schools, so they invest in the unusual areas of tech and processes that are the real difference makers. The EduJedi Activities are led by top experts with professional software experience, model tech architecture knowledge, school logistics and academics backgrounds. These carefully planned Activities are the true foundations of K-12 Reimagined. Once you get it, you’re EduJedi.

And one final note - to help educators with their communication efforts—regardless of what platform or tool they use—ParentSquare, has created a free best practice guide. Good stuff Anu.

There is even more I could report. Like I said, there is a lot going on. Enjoy the beginning of the new school year. Stay safe and we’ll catch up through the ether.

 

About the author

Charles Sosnik is an education journalist and editor and serves as Editor in Chief at the Learning Counsel. An EP3 Education Fellow, he uses his deep roots in the education community to add context to the education narrative. Charles is a frequent writer and columnist for some of the most influential media in education, including the Learning Counsel, EdNews Daily, EdTech Digest and edCircuit. Unabashedly Southern, Charles likes to say he is an editor by trade and Southern by the Grace of God.

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